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Original Research

RMJ. 2009; 34(1): 102-104


Use of Alternative Medicine for Chronic Hepatitis C-A Hospital Based Study from Rawalpindi

Sara Ijaz Gilani, Sana Ali, Sarah Tahir Mir, Tooba Mazhar, Aftab Iqbal, Faheem Ahmed, Omar Hyder, Abeera Zareen..

Abstract
Objective: To assess the prevalence of alternative treatment in Chronic Hepatitis C
patients.
Patients and Methods: Face to face interviews were conducted with 78 patients
presenting in Liver Clinic of Holy Family Hospital, Rawalpindi using a structured
questionnaire.
Results: Out of 78 patients, 58% were female and 42% were male. Mean age was 43
years. Fifty one percent were illiterate with average monthly household income of Rs.
3000-7000. Seventy-seven percent (n=60) of the patients claimed using alternative
medicine for hepatitis at some stage during illness. Use of Quranic verses (Dam/Darood)
was the most prevalent (75%, n=50), followed by Hakim (45%, n=27) and Homeopathic
(43%, n=26) medicines. The major reasons cited for using alternative medicine were high
cost of conventional medicine (67%), followed by recommendations from other patients.
Fifty percent people believed in the effectiveness of alternative medicine and 25%
doubted the efficacy of conventional treatment. Sixty-five percent claimed using a
combination of alternative and conventional therapy and 67% had not informed their
doctor about its concurrent use.
Conclusion: Doctors need to be aware of all therapeutic modalities used by their patients
to prevent any drug interactions. The cost of medical treatment for hepatitis was found to
be the greatest obstacle in obtaining conventional treatment. The treatment seeking
behavior is influenced by hearsay, advice from other patients and the community. (Rawal
Med J 2009;34:102-104).

Key words: Alternative medicine, chronic hepatitis, treatment modalities.



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